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Creative and Content
The final subject to discuss is the role of the brand and the agency in content creation. Having looked at many articles and garnered feedback from peers and clients the picture is quite blurred.
Some seem to feel that a brand should produce some, but not all of their content – and this is obvious where the skillset simply isn’t in-house.
Other brands like Unilever, Red bull and PepsiCo have taken their creative in house and developing in-house agencies to support this.
For me, the idea of full creativity being in-house isn’t scary or defining. I’m not sure any brand will take complete control of all content for social media because of the rapid change of engaging creative required. Sure, you can take visual (images) and video completely in-house, but as refereed to earlier, VR and AR will have to be outsourced as much as CGI if that’s so required.
If there is an established strategy where by the agency produces the complex content and the in-house team produces the less complicated visuals, then that seems to me to be the perfect balance. That’s not a statement that says agencies are in any way better than in house but technical skillsets and technology required is not often going to be utilised in-house, so a specialist agency partner per campaign loks a more viable solution.
Again, there are many questions to be asked before any decision is made and some are below.
Do you have the capacity and expertise in-house? Can you set and maintain branding and corporate tone of voice? Is there enough experience for agile responses within a campaign? How does your strategy for content amplification work? Who is responsible for the upfront research into the content strategy?
More than enough food for thought I’m sure in this article but then again, if it’s not the decision your brand needs to be making right now, maybe it’s something for future discussions. Personally, I think I’m quite clear on my preference, it’s the hybrid model which ultimately, I see becoming the on-site agency model.
Agencies don’t own the sole right to fantastic creatives, diligent data analysts or marketing strategists for social media. More and more brands are hiring in their account managers from agencies ad that can only mean agencies will have stricter and tighter defined roles.
It's how agencies respond to this growing change in the attitudes of brands that will ensure their survival. Will we see more agencies becoming ever more niche in their service focus and lose the “full service” offering or will more agencies like OLIVER focus on developing on-site partnerships with their major clients?
“Times are a changing” and it will be interesting to see what develops over the next 12 months.